Mersin is a province and also a seaport city in Turkey best known for its economical, geographical and cultural region located on the southern side of the Mediterranean coast. The city fully consists of jaw-dropping historical sites which makes it one of the best tourist destination in Turkey. Mersin name was basically given to this province after the scented plant named as Myrsine. There are many famous sites in Mersin including heritage culture of Tarsus which is six thousand years old, 25 km from Mersin. It is also renowned because of Saint Paulus, the first follower of the Christ, who was born in Tarsus. This place is an unbelievable enriching melting pot.
10) Mersin Atatürk House Museum
The building is located in the central point of the city. It was constructed as a residence for german counselor Herr Christman, for his wedding in 1897 with a lady of the Mavromati ancestors from Mersin. The house is built in a 1270 square meters area. After 1976, the building was kept empty and with a verdict taken by the municipality committee, it was later renamed as the “Atatürk House and Museum” on 12th of October 1992. Many documents and photographs are displayed on the ground floor of the Mersin Ataturk House and Museum. About 22 pieces of his individual belongings taken in from Anitkabir Museum of Ankara are also displayed on this floor. On the upper floor, the ethnographical articles are exhibited, there are two bedrooms; one is the study room and the other for sitting that opens to a big living room.
9) Mamure Castle
Manure Castle is a historical landmark and something really worth seeing in Mersin. Mamure Castle is situated 6 km southeast of Anamur, usually known as Mamure Kalesi. The castle has dodge walls constructed in such a way to irritate attackers from sea and ground as it is also bordered by defense trenches on its three sides. The castle is bounded by the land side and the road on the fortification attaches the 39 towers and a lot of parapets to each other. There are three major yards inside the castle, south, west and the east, which are alienated from one another by high walls. On the south side, there is an internal bastion constructed over the rocks. While on the west, there is an outer castle, a small intricate of a single minaret mosque, the remains of hamam, a fountain, storehouse and cisterns. On the east side, there is an inner patio which has 7 mainstays in diverse shapes on the high wall comprising its northwest boundary.
8) Caves of Heaven and Hell
Caves of heaven and hell are located 1.4 km on the northwest of Narlikuyu in Turkey. This site is an attraction for a lot of tourists with natural phenomena and also as a historical spot of curiosity. There is a large hole on the ground known as the “Corycian Caves” in which there are ancient eras of Greek myths, according to which it was the home of the Monster Typhoon, a 100m ahead from the heaven. The walls are too vertical which is pretty hard to access, so you can’t go down into it (in other meanings, you can’t go to hell). During the past, they used to throw criminals and sinners in the cave as a punishment. At the entry of the cave, there is a church which is named after a virtuous man Paulus, which is considered to be the way to heaven.
7) Viransehir (Soli)
Viransehir is situated on the shore 12 km to Mersin, Turkey. The Soli Pompeiopolis ancient city also known as “Soli”, which holds outlines of many civilizations in Mezitli district of Mersin. Soli was overcome by Pompous, the magnificent leader of the roman empire, who was later named”Pompeipolis” after some restoration. This place was cumbled during the earthquake that happened in around 527 B.C and it is currently known as “Viranşehir”. Today, 41 columns are still positioned on a 200 column way with a Corinthian head expanding from the mountain gateway to the sea gate. Out of 41, 33 columns of these are ornamented with eagle, lion and human reliefs.
6) St. Paul Church
St. Paul, one of the most important figures of the christianity, was built as St. Paul Cathedral in Tarsus city midpoint in 1102. It draws attention by its roman approach thick and high walls, yawning windows with a spacious internal side and a thin external side including wide columns. The entire area of the church’s structure is about 460 meter sqaure. The longer measurements of the building consist of stone walls and a blind tomb. The internal measurement is 19.30 m × 17.50 m (63.3 ft × 57.4 ft). The face of the middle nave window had been festooned by landscape and angels representation.
5) The Cave of Seven Sleepers
The cave is 14 km northwest of Tarsus, Mersin, and is believed to be a holy place for muslims and the christians both. Around 250 A.D. a greek ruler of Tarsus city gave warning to seven young people who had acknowledged to loving a single God and that they would be punished if they do not worship idols. Those 7 young people escaped from the ruler’s cruelty and took protection in this cave according to some myth, they slept over 309 years. The people, who ultimately understood that they were in the cave, closed the gate of the cave and left them to death. Catholics honor this myth on 7th of July each year. On the other hand, there is no such specific date for muslims to memorialize it so, the cave is visited by the tourists every season of the year.
4) Mugdat Mosque
Mugdat mosque is situated in the North of Mersin, Turkey, in a town, known as Gazi but the town is generally called by the name of this mosque. The construction of the mosque started in 1988 and was finished in 1998 making it a a decade to complete. The total covered area of mosque is 7900m which also contains a yard that is about 85,000 square feet. The length of the each minaret is 8m high, that equals to 266 feet. When the mosque was designed, it had four minarets but two more minarets were added by the management later. The accommodated capacity of the mosque is about having 5,500 worshippers at a time. Mugdat mosque is known as the biggest mosque in Mersin city and the third biggest mosque in Turkey.
3) Mersin Museum
Mersin Museum is a place where artifacts of all the civilizations ever existed in this city exhibit. The museum has three major exhibition halls, the first one is a tavern with marble sculptures from the roman period, granite works, different kinds of sarcophagi and many different messages from the ancient city of Nagidos are displayed. Yumuktepe case is displayed on the 2nd floor, there are arts from the digs, stone and obsidian tools, cuts, terracotta pottery, interlaced weights, hand axes, a glass lamp that belongs to the Islamic rebellion. Ethnographic relics are displayed on the third floor positioned on the upper floor. These embrace silver curios, pawns, metal and wooden household items, local clothes interlaced examples and diverse weapons which makes it a great attraction for tourists.
2) Maiden Castle
Situated about 300 meters on the mediterranean sea off shore, this castle lies on the center of Mersin province. Maiden Castle was manufactured to defend the ancient city of Korykos. The tough stonework of the castle, a matter of tradition is quite inspiring. The castle was mended by Karamanoğlu İbrahim Bey. The castle was named Maidens castle because it was informed that a king held his daughter here in captivity to make sure that she is safe but she was killed by a poisonous snake as predicted by some that she would pass away by a snake bite. Sometimes, castle is also called by locals as “Girl’s castle”. It went through a lot of empires but always remembered by the love of the father to his daughter.
1) Alahan Monastery
Alahan Monastery is a complex of fifth century structure situated on the mountains of Isauria in southern Asia. It is situated at an altitude of 1300 m, 20 km to the north of city center Mut district, Mersin. The place has been called as Kocakale and now recognized by the name of Alahan Monastery. Constructions bend on the rock mass on the north of the place. Alahan Monastery is traditional to the 5th and 6th century AD. They are portraying as the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, attended by anonymous figures around them. There is also a broad display of figures in the reliefs imprinted on the molding including grapevines, acanthus, grapes, birds, and fishes. On the east lies a great court and the structures are carved on the rock layer in the north and two churches. Alahan is a key site in the historical backdrop of early Byzantine engineering, a large portion of a century prior to the colossal accomplishments of Anicia Juliana and Justinian in constantinople.